Allow Dr. Jon Zoutendam tackle your tooth decay in Traverse City

If you’re worried about tooth decay, look no further than Dr. Zoutendam’s Traverse City dental office for access to top-of-the-line dental care.

Tooth decay is damage that occurs when germs in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. It can lead to a hole in the tooth, called a cavity. If not treated properly and quickly, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. With regular checkups at Dr. Zoutendam's Traverse City office, you can rest assured that decay won’t take over your life.

A tooth has three layers:

  • Enamel – the hard outer layer
  • Dentin – the middle layer
  • Pulp – the center of the tooth, containing nerves and blood vessels

Decay worsens as each layer is penetrated. Dr. Jon Zoutendam can help prevent tooth decay as long as you attend your twice-yearly cleanings.

What causes tooth decay?

Bacteria and food can cause decay. A clear, sticky substance called plaque is always forming on your teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on the sugars in the food you eat. As the bacteria feed, they make acids. The acids attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after you eat. Over time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, causing tooth decay.

Things that make you more likely to have tooth decay include:

  • Not brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and not seeing your dentist for checkups and cleanings.
  • Eating foods that are high in sugar and other carbohydrates, which feed the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Not getting enough fluoride. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acids produced by plaque. Fluoride is added to many public water supplies.
  • Not having enough saliva. Saliva washes away food and harmful sugars, so it helps protect your teeth from decay. A dry mouth may be caused by a condition such as xerostomia or Sjögren’s syndrome, by taking certain medicines, or by breathing through your mouth. Older adults are more likely to have a dry mouth.
  • Having diabetes.
  • Smoking, using spit (smokeless) tobacco, or breathing secondhand smoke.

At Dr. Zoutendam’s office, our philosophy is to develop long-term patient relationships by providing predictable, quality dentistry in a warm, caring environment. We’re here to serve you and your family to ensure that the dental health of everyone you love is properly maintained.

If you’re experiencing tooth decay in Traverse City, call Dr. Jon Zoutendam’s office today at 231-946-6336.